Friday, June 11, 2010

Represent! Watch U.S.A. v. England, of course, but first, some news

If you were to ask me who the funniest two people in the world are, I'd respond, in this order, Ricky Gervais and Larry David, so if you bring them together, even for just one episode, you're gonna get my attention.

I'm not sure when we'll be able to see the eighth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," David's much more bitter and, yes, funnier, HBO follow-up to "Seinfeld," but when we do, it's been announced that Gervais will indeed be appearing as himself on the eighth episode.

Is it possible to have too much funny? I think not, and luckily, HBO definitely doesn't think you can have too much Ricky Gervais. Just last night I finally sat down and watched a few episodes of "The Ricky Gervais Show," which is essentially just animated visuals to go along with podcasts he makes with comedic partner Stephen Merchant and foil Karl Pilkington, and for which HBO has already ordered a second season.

The show itself is hampered by both that extremely limited format and by the fact that Gervais, in baiting Pilkington, often comes off as a bully. It still works, though, because these are three extremely funny guys, and because Pilkington in particular is at least as much a savant as he is an idiot. The best bits so far have been a "Monkey News" segment in which they debate whether or not a monkey can host a talk show, and another one in which Pilkington shares his birthing theory that when you die, you should immediately turn in to a baby again.

The bottom line: if you like cerebral funny, these guys deliver it, and I'm a fan. And in even better news, Gervais is now launching a new series for the BBC titled "Life's Too Short," which will "document" the life of showbiz little guy Warwick Davis, who has already made an appearance with Daniel Radcliffe on the Gervais/Merchant series "Extras." When and if this crosses the pond, it's extremely likely it will be to HBO too, and I can only say bring it on, because I'll admit I really like good jokes about little folk.

In other news, I really don't think there's any way Disney can get me too excited about another damned prequel, this one for "The Wizard of Oz," but they're certainly trying. Vulture reports today that the studio has offered Sam Raimi the reins for this project, in which Robert Downey Jr. would apparently play the wizard himself if this ever gets made.

I'd still lean toward just saying no to this, but if you've seen "Drag Me to Hell," you know Raimi still has some fun left in him (and if you haven't, and can handle a wickedly funny and equally gross horror flick, rent it immediately.) I suppose the man's gotta work, especially since they swiped the "Spider-Man" franchise from him, but if he jumps at this, he'll be far from alone in returning to the land of Oz.

Because absolutely nothing in Hollywood happens in a vacuum, there are at least three other "Oz"-related projects coming together, the furthest along being an upcoming 3D animated film "Dorothy of Oz." Nothing about that would make me say anything but meh except for the fact they've now cast "Glee" star Lea Michelle as the lead, and being an admitted and devoted Gleek, I figured I'd at least be the messenger on that too.

In the same press release, however, came this rather ominous note: "15-time Grammy winner Bryan Adams is currently moving forward on the first songs and lyrics for the film." Sheesh. OK, enough of that. On to the videos ...

Sticking with HBO first, this is the third, and best, trailer I know of the Martin Scorsese-produced series "Boardwalk Empire," which will chronicle the rise of Atlantic City's gambling empire and is set to debut in September. As you'll see from the trailer, the best one yet, it stars Steve Buscemi. Enjoy, and if you're a Sookie Stackhouse fan like me, of course tune in at 9 Sunday night for the season three premiere of "True Blood."

"Futurama" is rather inexplicably but thankfully set to rise again very soon with new episodes on Comedy Central, with the first two coming back-to-back June 24 (and yes, with all the original voice cast members.) Here, courtesy of the network, is first 90 seconds or so of the first new episode in which, predictably, we already find Fry in a tight spot. Enjoy.

And finally, the big day is finally here. The U.S.A. takes on England today in South Africa, and if you're somehow in Macon and interested, the rather unfortunately named Bottom's Up (not a titty bar, despite that name) will be open downtown and I and some fellow soccer geeks will be there to watch as the game begins at 2:30 EST. In the meantime, soccer fan Rivers Cuomo and his Weezer bandmates have recorded "Represent," an unofficial theme song for the squad, and it indeed kicks ass. Enjoy along with this video tribute to the team, and definitely tune in for what will hopefully make the U.S.A. undefeated (2-0) all time in World Cup matches against England. Peace and futbol to all!


Bob said...

Ricky Gervais, Steve Buscemi, and "Futurama." You've covered three of my favorite topics in one day.

Reel Fanatic said...

I do aim to please, Bob ... and with your tastes being so often similar, it's really not that hard!